Sunday, 15 May 2011

Schottland: wintermärchen und jetzt zommer

It came as a surprise to many in the Surrey Hills that the people of Scotland may have indicated that they wanted their independence and would like to take away the blue from the Union flag, and a bit of the white, though for the time being retain Her Majesty, The Queen as Queen of Scots.  To this extent, a new protocol has been dreamed up by the Scottish establishment as the reverse of the traditional announcement of the Dissolution of Parliament in Westminster.  On this occasion the people of Edinburgh are told by The Lord Lyon, King of Arms, at the Mercat Cross of the said dissolution.  (Aspects of the tabards worn at this can be seen in the current edition of Tak Tent, Issue 51, p2)

Our famous expert on matters royal and heraldic volunteered to ride down from Edinburgh to Dorking where she addressed the banking fraternity somewhere in the Leith Hill area on topics such as Scottish legal, educational, religious and of course heraldic differences, which more or less define what it is to be a nation. 

An extract from Lady Jean Bridie’s presentation follows.

Lady Jean took this picture of the Scottish moors during her epic ride from Edinburgh to London.  We are happy to announce that these bushes were not affected by the recent fire.  This illustrates the story in The Bible relating to the burning bush: it burns but is not consumed.  In Latin, this is nec tamen consumebatur  - which is the motto of the Church of Scotland.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

FIFA delegates, IMF job seekers, ETF practitioners, accountants and tax planners. 

I have been on horseback for 5 days and got delayed in Morpeth, Richmond, Oakham, Luton and Sunningdale.  I am pleased to address this meeting concerning the likely changes in the status of Scotland now that England wishes to leave the United Kingdom.  We would like to present to you the tax advantages, banking prowess, industrial acumen and natural resources of our country – with particular note on our strange customs. 

In Scotland we have our own institutions.  These include the Court of The Lord Lyon, the Registrar of Scotland, the Court of Session, the Scottish Government, First Minister, a football team, an established church – The Church of Scotland – a separate education system and, since devolution, much of the domestic affairs are handled by the Scottish government, with some liaison with Whitehall. 

Regarding politics, the recent success of the SNP in being able to form a majority government in the Scottish Parliament (this was supposed to be impossible) has surprised many within the radius of the M25 motorway around London.  That wise twit, Matthew Parris, opined that in a referendum the Scots would vote No for independence and that the English would vote Yes to throwing out Scotland from the United Kingdom. 

This has caused much strain, as many Scots now bombard the BBC by every communication tool possible when inaccuracies are heard on topics such as the law, health, national government, education, forests, and even the census.  I myself have noticed within my twittering circle of a 100,000+ followers (I monetise myself, thank you) that our community is doing very well, thank you, and we have managed to overturn the BBC pronunciation rules on Ardnamurchan during the shipping forecast.  Listen out for Arlene Fleming.  The way Arlene says: “from Mull of Galloway to Ardnamurchan Point” sounds almost a haiku, though not of course as topical as the haiku featured in Private Eye this week (see p7, Issue 1288)

We’ve provided the following links, just in case you have any intention of visiting Scotland this summer.  We apologise to Herr Heine for using his “Deutschland ein wintermärchen”, though if you want to listen to this,  you can get it from LibriVox (

Scottish government:

Registrar General for Scotland:

National Trust for Scotland:

National Museums Scotland:

National Gallery of Scotland:



  1. Do you have any examples of the protocol which you have envisaged with Lady Jean Bridie riding to London? While in your piece you may have joked about delivering a lecture to bankers, FIFA delegates and the IMF trouble with DSK (who has been arrested in NY), you don't expect Gordon Brown to get the job? And what would a courier be doing sending missives from the Scottish Parliament to London in any case.

    Very nice picture and a beautiful yellow colour! Top marks for photography and there maybe something in your heraldry, but I'll have to get the Duke of Norfolk to investigate.

  2. Say what you will, I don't like the idea of an independent Scotland - and I don't think that by voting for the SNP, the Scots were favouring independence. Still, bring on the referendum ...

  3. According to the Daily Record, Margo MacDonald is proposing to revisit the assisted suicide issue in Scotland where the laws on this issue are a matter for the Scottish Parliament. This article illustrates part of the campaign for the Scottish Parliament and can be followed in various forums on Twitter, for example #sp4

  4. Oh dear ... you're not hoping to muscle in on Switzerland monopoly and get a slice of suicide tourism are you? Hope the country's not planning to base its economy on this- it could start a whole trend, what with duty free, vat-free etc etc.

  5. You make a good point about trade and moral dilemmas. This of course can also be a problem within federal countries such as the USA, where state law and taxes are different, and in the case of Louisiana (in the US) and Quebec (in Canada) the legal codes show divergence.

    The setting up of the Scottish Parliament was envisaged by the late Donald Dewar to legislate much of the different Scottish criminal law; the civil law has distinctions especially as they relate to family inheritance and process. You realise that our staff have been fully stretched and Lady Jean Bridie is expected in Edinburgh as we write, and a cousin is in attendance in Dublin.